Spring III: 25

Left (Tie).


hakanashi ya
itsu made hana no
chiraji tote
haru o tometaru
keshiki naruran
How piteous!
That the blossom should never
Fall – the words
Cling on to spring,
Or so it seems…



Right (Tie).


hana no katami to
miru haru o
ima ikuka wa
aran to suran
Never surfeited of
Blossom are my memories
Of Spring;
Now, a few days:
Do only they remain?

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


The Right say that the Left’s poem ‘gives the impression that Spring has passed and yet blossoms remain’ (meaning it’s unsuited to the topic, which is about the last days of spring), while the Left say the final line of the Right’s poem, ‘sounds weak.’

Shunzei disagrees, ‘The final section of the Right’s poem gives an emphatic impression. However, both ‘ should never’ (itsu made) and ‘now, a few days’ (ima ikuka wa) jointly have such a similar spirit [of spring shortly ending] that it is not possible to determine a winner or loser between the two poems.’

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